Harmon? Tommy Harmon? Old 98! Why, he played in my stadium the year I discovered it. Scored four touchdowns against Cal, long runs on three of them. The Cal defense had so much trouble with him that Bud Brennan, a bald real estate salesman, much in his cups that day, staggered out of his seat on the west side of the stadium and, topcoat flailing in the wind, set off after Harmon, who was running, as usual, in the clear. Harmon gently placed a hand on Brennan's bald pate as the realtor lunged for him at the goal line. "What in hell are you doing here?" the All-America halfback asked. Brennan, winded now, managed to mutter an obscenity before the campus police arrived to haul him off. It was a memorable occasion.
Yes, memorable. That's it. A chance remark by two not very likable strangers in a town almost completely foreign to me had initiated a predictable response. College football is a continuum, just as any truly valuable sport is. Everything changes, nothing changes. Harmon fils recalls Harmon p�re. The past, despite the increasing distance we put between it and ourselves, is never far away.
Is this what so many of us find in college football? Do we see something there, if only indistinctly, that survives despite time's powers of diminution?